The girls really wanted a watermelon and against my better judgement, I bought one. A cool watermelon on a hot summer day is a joy, of course, but getting through a whole one when you’re don’t have company is a challenge. I used part of it in a batch of watermelon salsa over the weekend, gave a few slices to the girls, and ate some more of it myself over the sink, but still found myself with more than half of it in the fridge. If eating this enormous watermelon wasn’t in the cards, I was sure we could drink it. And so we did.
The resulting coolers were an ideal antidote for summer swelter and crippling humidity. Spicy ginger and tart lime served as a nice counterpoint that heightened the watermelon’s refreshing sweetness. Best of all, it required almost no effort. Because isn’t minimal effort what muggy summer days are all about?
Just as with this recipe, I’ve used ginger simple syrup. But there are a few changes – this one’s cooked instead of steeped and has a Thai chili for a bit of heat.
I’ve opted to call this drink a cooler instead of an agua fresca. Both are very similar, though it’s my understanding that an agua fresca should be strained. Watermelon is hardly pulpy and I like the texture it lent the drink. If you’d prefer, strain the mixture before drinking.
The pretty coasters featured in these images were part of a subscription box the folks at GlobeIn sent over for me to try. GlobeIn is a subscription box that brings together the work of artisans around the globe with locally crafted, fair trade products. If you’d like to check it out, they’ve offered Brooklyn Supper readers a discount on the first subscription box – use the code: BROOKLYNSUPPER for 25 percent off your first month’s box with the purchase of 3+ month subscription.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 4-inch section of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 dried Thai chili
- 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
- 2 cups ice
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- Add water, sugar, ginger, and chili to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to the lowest setting and steep for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and set in the fridge to chill. Ginger simple syrup will keep for several weeks in the fridge and can be used for cocktails, lemonade, or the beverage of your choice. Save 4 slices of candied ginger for the watermelon cooler; the remaining candied ginger should be devoured on the spot. (If you'd like, toss candied ginger in sugar to coat.)
- To make coolers, layer ice, watermelon chunks, lime juice, 4 reserved ginger slices, and 2 tablespoons spicy ginger simple syrup in the pitcher of a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into chilled glasses, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.
Disclosure: GlobeIn provided me with a subscription box to try; no other compensation was provided for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.